Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be handed an escape route from his Arsenal exile after Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr made an offer for the Gunners' former captain. The Riyadh-based club submitted a proposal to Arsenal on Tuesday that would see them take Aubameyang on loan until the end of the season when they would be obliged to sign him permanently for $9.1 million (€8 million). Technical director Edu and the club's hierarchy are yet to respond to the bid, however, they are understood to be ready to part ways with their top earner after a tumultuous spell off the pitch.
Indeed getting Aubameyang's $340,000-a-week salary off their books will allow Arsenal greater flexibility in their pursuit of a striker this month. Dusan Vlahovic is their top target, though they have so far been unable to convince the Fiorentina striker to make the midseason switch.
Al Nassr are not alone in coveting Aubameyang. Indeed sources have indicated to CBS Sports that their perennial rival Al Hilal are also interested in the striker though they are not believed to have made an offer.
Aubameyang was stripped off the Arsenal captaincy last month for what the club viewed as multiple disciplinary breaches and he was not involved in any of the Gunners matches prior to travelling to the Africa Cup of Nations. The striker has since been sent back to London by the Gabon national team following scans that revealed "heart lesions" after a bout of COVID-19.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: "He is in London and now he is going through some examinations, because we haven't had any clarity from the Gabon national team about the reasons why he came back so obviously it is our obligation to make sure that medically the player is safe, he is in good condition and not any issues related to that - and to try to avoid any suggestion that is the case because so far historically everything we have done with the player, he has never had an issue. Hopefully that is the case.
"Let's go step by step and do the right examinations and make sure the players' health is in the best possible condition, and then we'll see what happens."
The 32 year old has struggled to find form since signing a new contract prior to the start of the 2020-21 season, scoring 22 goals in 44 appearances. He has struggled with multiple bouts of COVID-19 as well as a case of malaria in May.